Sant Josep council will approve new noise regulations this week, the first of the Island municipalities to directly target the Ibiza beach clubs that have grown hugely in recent years.
Speaking at a press call on Monday 24th July, Mayor Josep Marí Ribas Agustinet and first deputy mayor, Paquita Ribas, said the new 65db limit will applicable to all beach club venues will be “very acceptable” so that the noise “does not cross the borders of the premises and will allow the beaches to be used as beaches and not discos as is happening now”.
65db is between ‘normal conversation’ at 60db, and a vacuum cleaner at 70db.
In place for 2018 season
The plans will be formalised at a council meeting on Thursday, however there will be a period of public consultation before final ratification. The clubs will then have 6 months to “adapt to the new conditions”.
Current regulations allow the clubs to play music at between 80 and 85 decibels, though there have been many complaints of those limits being routinely exceeded. With the spread o beach club venues throughout the island the council wants to demonstrate that all beaches will be under the same scrutiny as Playa d’en Bossa, which has attracted most attention over the years.
Taking the consultation period and 6 month adjustment period into account, the venues would be expected to start the 2018 season under the new regulations. Deputy Mayor Ribas said of the timescale “We do not want to crush anyone, but give the local residents peace of mind. The current situation has to be improved.”
Another new feature of the ordinance is that the Local Police can now “directly seal the music equipment” of leisure establishments in which a noise limiter has been manipulated.
The scale of fines has also been adjusted and reflect the amount to which the venue exceeded the regulations.
Current regulations could result in an unspecified fine of between 15,000 and 300,000 euros.
Under the new regulations Ibiza Beach clubs in San Jose face a minimum fine of 30,000€ will be imposed for breaches of over 20db, (so 85db – the current limit) and 50,000€-300,000€ for breaches over 25db.
“This allows the entrepreneur to know what is at stake,” said Ribas, drawing a parallel of sliding scales for speeding offences on the roads.
12,000€ direct fine for villa parties
The new ordinance also provides for a direct penalty of 12,000 euros for owners or renters of a private home who refuse to lower the volume of music when instructed to do so by the Local Police.
There was no information as to whether Villa owners would become liable for the fine if unpaid by renters in their property.
At present, the amount of penalties, which depends on the criteria used by the examiner, does not exceed 6,000 euros, according to Ribas.
The new regulation also includes a ‘noise zone map’, which specifies the maximum noise level that may exist in the environment. The countryside zones will be classified as residential, whereas coastline areas (public marine terrestrial domain) will have the classification of ‘suelo en la parte posterior’, (a literal translation of which is ‘the ground in the back’).
There are no changes regarding the noise limitations of the discotheque or café concierto business classifications.
A question many people will be asking in so far as how it relates to their own favourite beach they want to keep quiet, or their favourite of the ibiza beach clubs they want to keep bouncing, is ‘what is defined as a beach club’.
To our knowledge there are 5 main types of food, drink & entertainment licence. Bar/Café, Restaurant, Cafe Concierto, Discotheque and Hotel.
If all venues fit in these categories, and if the regulations are to be applied to all that would be commonly considered to be on a beach, the rules would include bora bora, the jockey club, ses salinas and others that have been around for decades. It would also include Blue Marlin, Cala Bassa Beach Club, and several of the newer venues along Bossa beach.
But the council referred to the ‘public marine terrestrial domain’. Under Spain’s ley de la costas (law of the coast) it is stated that the entire cost is in the public domain, but the amount of the coast is not defined by anything as simple as 5 meters all the way around. It is affected by issues such as how far from the shoreline sands reach, the highest level reached by storms etc. In some areas this results in a public shoreline of 30 meters, in others 3. See our special report save our shore which includes details on how to find out what is public land.
As we all know so well, there are many regulations in Ibiza, whether they will be enforced is an entirely different matter.